AB de Villiers has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, the 37-year-old announced on Friday (November 19). One of the greatest batters of the modern era, de Villiers made the announcement via Twitter, bringing an end to his illustrious career.
The right-handed batter from South Africa, who played 14 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is, had announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2018. There were talks about him making a comeback for the 2019 World Cup in England and the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, but later decided that his ‘retirement will remain final’. The international comeback never happened but de Villiers continued to play franchise-based leagues all around the world.
"It has been an incredible journey, but I have decided to retire from all cricket. Ever since the back yard matches with my older brothers, I have played the game with pure enjoyment and unbridled enthusiasm. Now, at the age of 37, that flame no longer burns so brightly," he said.
"I would like to thank every teammate, every opponent, every coach, every physio and every staff member who has travelled the same path, and I am humbled by the support I have received in South Africa, in India, wherever I have played.
"Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Whether playing for the Titans, or the Proteas, or RCB, or around the world, the game has given me unimagined experiences and opportunities, and I will always be grateful.
"That’s the reality I must accept - and, even if it may seem sudden, that is why I am making this announcement today. I’ve had my time. Cricket has been exceptionally kind to me. Last, I am aware that nothing would have been possible without the sacrifices made by my family - my parents, my brothers, my wife Danielle and my children. I look forward to the next chapter of our lives when I can truly put them first."
The decorated South African batter featured in 184 IPL encounters and smashed 5162 runs at an average of 39.71 and a strike rate of 151.69. He made his IPL debut for Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) before joining Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011.
In 11 seasons, he scored 4522 runs for RCB at a strike rate of almost 160. De Villiers is the second leading run-scorer behind Virat Kohli and holds the second and third-highest individual score in the RCB history, with 133* against Mumbai Indians (in 2015) and 129* against Gujarat Lions (in 2016). He featured in the 2021 edition and scored 313 runs at an average of 31.30 and an impressive strike rate of 148.34
Talking about his stunning stint with the franchise, de Villiers said: "I have had a long and fruitful time playing for RCB. Eleven years have just whizzed by and leaving the boys is extremely bittersweet. Of course, arriving at this decision took a lot of time, but after a lot of contemplation, I’ve decided to hang up my boots and spend quality time with my family.
"I would like to thank the RCB management, my friend Virat Kohli, teammates, coaches, support staff, fans, and the entire RCB family for showing faith and supporting me all through these years. It has been a memorable journey with RCB. Have so many memories on the personal front to cherish for the lifetime. RCB will always be very close to me and my family and will continue to support this amazing team. I am a RCBian forever."